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My Afternoons with Margueritte

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My Afternoons with Margueritte
La tête en friche.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJean Becker
Screenplay byJean Becker
Jean-Loup Dabadie
Story byAmélie Bérard
Based onMy Afternoons with Margueritte
by Marie-Sabine Roger
Produced byLouis Becker
Gérard Depardieu
StarringGérard Depardieu
Gisèle Casadesus
CinematographyArthur Cloquet
Edited byJacques Witta
Music byLaurent Voulzy
K.J.B. Production
Distributed byStudioCanal
Release date
  • 5 September 2010 (2010-09-05)
Running time
82 minutes
Budget$8.3 million
Box office$14.2 million[1]

My Afternoons with Margueritte (French: La Tête en friche) is a 2010 French film directed by Jean Becker, based on the book of the same name by Marie-Sabine Roger. It stars Gérard Depardieu, Gisèle Casadesus, Claire Maurier, Maurane, and François-Xavier Demaison. The film tells the story of an illiterate man who bonds with an older, well-read woman.[2]


Germain is a 45-year-old, illiterate handyman. As a child, he was bullied at school for being a slow reader, by both the teachers and other students. His mother kept reminding him that he was clumsy and an unwanted child, and did not give him much love. He is a loyal man, with a good heart. He lives in a trailer he parks close to his mother's house, where he cultivates a vegetable garden. He earns some extra money by selling his vegetables at the weekly farmers' market, borrowing a truck from the bar where he is a regular customer with his friends. His girl friend Annette is a younger woman who drives the local bus; she truly loves this sweet, simple and loving man.

One afternoon Germain meets Margueritte, a delicate, 95-year-old woman who sits on the same bench with him to feed pigeons. He has observed the 19 birds so often that he knows each and has named them. He sees that she is highly educated, and learns she had worked as a scientist with the World Health Organization. She lives in a retirement home in the village and reads frequently. They connect over a text from The Plague by Albert Camus. Because Germain is barely literate, Margueritte starts to read the book aloud to him. Slowly he starts to appreciate the beauty of words and sentences, because he is a good listener and he has a vivid imagination. Germain is affected by the symbolism Camus uses in this philosophical novel, expanding his horizons. The pair meet every day to continue their reading sessions. A friendship develops. Margueritte eventually gives him her old dictionary. In it he tries to find words that he's interested in, but because he can't spell, he finds the dictionary too frustrating. He decides to return it when Margueritte invites him to her place for tea.

She tells him that her eyesight is gradually fading, and that she will soon no longer be able to walk unassisted. Germain decides to reverse roles and try to read to her, but first he must improve his reading skills. With Annette's support he learns to read a story aloud to Margueritte. Shortly thereafter, Germain finds his mother dead at home, and is distraught.

At the notary, he learns that his mother owned her house, which he had thought she rented. She had accumulated a sizeable fortune from strict saving, and always intended to bequeath that to him, but had never told him. Meanwhile, Annette announces she is pregnant. Germain had hesitated to have children, believing he could not offer them enough. Annette tells him not to worry: he can give love. When Margueritte is forced to leave her retirement home for a lesser one in Flanders, she puts aside her dictionary for Germain. He traces her down and brings her back to live with him at his mother's house. On their return, he reads her a poem written for her.



On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 85% based on 60 reviews, and an average rating of 6.4/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "It's sentimental and treacly, but that's not enough to prevent My Afternoons with Margueritte from being truly affecting."[3] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[4]


  1. ^ "La Tête en friche (My Afternoons with Margueritte) (2010)". JP's Box-Office. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  2. ^ Niemiec, Ryan M; Wedding, Danny (2013). Positive Psychology at the Movies: Using Films to Build Virtues and Character Strengths. Hogrefe Verlag. pp. 347–. ISBN 978-1-61676-443-2.
  3. ^ "La tête en friche (My Afternoons with Margueritte) (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  4. ^ "My Afternoons with Margueritte Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 23, 2018.

External links

It's not a typical love affair
But "love" and "tenderness"
Both are there
Named after a daisy
She lived amidst words
Surrounded by adjectives
In green fields of verbs
Some force you to yield
But she with soft art
Passed through my hard shield
And into my heart
Not always are love stories
Just made of love
Love is not named
But it's love just the same...
This is no typical love affair
I met her on a bench in my local square
She made a little stir, tiny like a bird
With her gentle feathers
She was surrounded by words
Some as common as myself
She gave me books, two or three
Their pages have come alive for me
Don't die now,
You've still time, just wait
It's not the hour, my little flower
Give me some more of you
More of the life in you
Not always are love stories
Just made of love
Sometimes love is not named
But it's love just the same.
This page was last edited on 8 May 2022, at 21:33
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